Inside the Story | Page 4 of 4 | Julia Quinn

Inside the Story

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Inside Everything And The Moon

  • Did you all catch the mention of Alex, Duke of Ashbourne (Splendid‘s hero) on p. 357? Even though Everything And The Moon was written after Splendid, it takes place at the same time, so when Mrs. Brightbill says that the duke is “dangling after some American,” she is referring to Emma Dunster, Splendid‘s heroine.
  • Robert has made appearances in a few of my later books. You can find him running from debutantes in The Duke and I (which is set earlier than Everything And The Moon), and then again in Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (which is set in 1824, so he’s well and married by then.)
  • Robert, who is a bit of a science geek, recites the Linnaean system of classification when he is trying not to think of Victoria taking a bath. My first instinct was to have him recite the periodic table. But the earliest version of the periodic table was not presented to the scientific community until 1869 (by Dmitri Mendeelev, a Russian chemist). I am a bit of a science geek myself, and if you haven’t heard Tom Lehrer singing “The Elements Song,” I highly recommend it.

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Inside Minx

  • Check out Dunford in How To Marry a Marquis. He’s got a minor (but fun!) part. Even though How To Marry a Marquis was written after Minx, it takes place several years earlier, so Dunford is still very much a rakish bachelor. It was kind of fun to write his scene, all the while thinking, “Heh heh, you have NO idea what I’ve got in store for you!”
  • Unfortunately, I found out that the Brazilian-Portuguese translator of How To Marry a Marquis swapped Dunford’s name with that of the villain. I was aghast! Now one of my nicest heroes is attacking women! (But only in Brazil.) I am happy to report, however, that this book is now out of print, and a new version of How to Marry a Marquis will be published in Brazil by Editora Arqueiro. Dunford will soon be back to his gentlemanly ways.
  • Charles Wycombe, the hero of Brighter Than the Sun, is a very minor character in Minx and mentions that he needs to marry soon. When I wrote Minx, I had no idea what his desperate situation was, but I figured it would be a great set-up for another book.
  • Rufus the bunny was inspired by my own houserabbit, Rutherford (Rufie for short.) Unlike Rufus, my sweet bunny has never chewed up important documents. (He did, however, take a big chunk out of a Lisa Kleypas novel.)

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Inside Dancing At Midnight

  • Dancing At Midnight had the working title of Spellbound. I was never particularly attached to this title, though, and in fact had only chosen it because it went along with Splendid.
  • Of all my books, Dancing At Midnight required the most extensive revisions. In the original version, John’s main reason for pushing Belle away was societal strictures, not his feelings of remorse over what happened during the war. During the revision process, I learned that nothing is more extensive than changing a character’s motivation. I had to go through the book and reexamine every word and thought of John’s. It was a difficult and time-consuming job, but I think the book benefited greatly.
  • I will confess that unlike Belle, I have not read the complete works of Shakespeare. And I’m pretty sure I never will. I did, however, play the role of Luciana in my high school production of A Comedy of Errors. This is not to be eclipsed, however, by my pivotal performance as “woman of Verona #3” in Kiss Me, Kate, which is based on The Taming of the Shrew.

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Inside Splendid

  • Emma is named after my sister Emily, who designed this website! Emma’s last name (Dunster) is named after my husband’s college dorm.
    Dunster House, with its iconic tower, is often featured in photos of Harvard and Charles River. Share Alike 2.5 image curtesy of Wikimedia Commons
  • Westonbirt (Alex’s ancestral home), is actually the name of the boarding school I attended in England. Alex’s home wouldn’t have looked like my Westonbirt, though. The school’s main building was constructed during Victorian times, at least fifty years after Splendid took place.

    Westonbirt School, in Tetbury, Share Alike 3.0 image curtesy of Wikimedia Commons.